Ten Years of TLO: The Stories We Broke

One thing that surprises a lot of people is just how little thought went into the start of TLO. Once we got the idea, we poured our hearts and souls into it and it consumed our every waking moment (and, for one of us, that continues to this day), but the blog from the beginning was started by three guys who had never met that just liked writing about Oklahoma and who said “Let’s start a blog about Oklahoma!”

The fun part about this ten-year retrospective project for me has been going back and reading old emails from when we were conceiving of the site. We were three people who didn’t know each other, trying to work together to create something people might enjoy. We didn’t know each other’s personalities or views on politics or views on the world even our favorite weatherman. It was a strange dynamic.

In that context, on May 19th, 2007 — less than a week after TLO debuted — an email arrived in my inbox Titled “Uh.” It was an oddly personal note from Patrick informing me that he was getting divorced and may take a few weeks off, but that he’d be back and really liked the direction that site was going. I guess the subject line was appropriate.

Basically, TLO was a bit of a rocky start for our man Patrick. I wasn’t much better off: Patrick found me because I had started my own personal blog as a reaction to the breakup of a long-term relationship, a sketchy job situation, and a bout of soul-sucking, debilitating depression. Ironically, even though his online persona was that of a Charlie Brown-like sadsack, it was Clark Matthews who was the happy one with a great wife and a newborn son.

Given the circumstances of TLO’s beginnings, it’s kind of a miracle it ever got off the ground and didn’t become just another one of the dead blogs littering the Internet. But it did! And even though none of us are journalists, and we certainly don’t even think of ourselves as legitimate journalists, we’re even able to break news stories before the actual professionals thanks to our great readers and members of the Ogle Mole Network.

On that note, I thought today that it would be fun to look back at some of the more popular and memorable news stories we broke over the years. Check them out:

 

Is This The Oklahoma City Thunder Logo?

In 2008, we leaked the Thunder’s awful logo design a week before its official unveiling. It was so bad we weren’t sure if it was legit or not.

Jessica Alba Vandalized Downtown Oklahoma City. Seriously.

When we started the site, I don’t think any of us anticipated “catch a famous actress plastering sharks all over Bricktown” was high up on our list of things we expected to do. But here we are.

Procrastinator’s guide to running the OKC Memorial Marathon

It’s been a grueling morning, but it’s almost over. A light sweat beads down your face as your tired feet pound across the pavement. Your legs want to give out and collapse underneath you, but the eager crowd surrounding you roars and coaxes you on. “You’re doing a great job! Keep going,” a voice rings out from the enthusiastically clapping aggregate on Broadway Avenue. Like the lifting of a weight, your body lightens and all the pain and fatigue sweeps from your muscles. In a triumphant sprint, you get a final wind that powers you past the finish line. An announcer calls your name out over the great loudspeaker and the people applaud your athletic glory.

At least, that’s the scenario you’ve played in your head over and over. But with the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon quickly approaching this Sunday, there are probably many of you who haven’t even hit the treadmill yet. Sure, you’ve been bragging to everybody at the office how you’re gonna crush that 5K, but you haven’t even laced up those now-vintage running shoes since they were new.

Don’t despair! Whether you’re attempting your first 5k, trying out a half, or beasting out a full 26.2 mile marathon, I’ve got some helpful tips to get you through it all. Before you ask, no I am not a runner. It’s the most boring goddamn activity in the world to me. But I live with a certified marathoner, so I’m going to pretend like I’m an expert here. If you’ve got any special tricks of your own, let us know in the comment section!

1. Get the right footwear

They say that 73% of running is in the feet, so it’s important to keep the dogs comfortable. You could go out and spend hundreds of dollars on quality, scientifically-designed footwear that are specifically made to improve your form and help you go longer and faster. But running shoes these days look like weirdo futuristic foot-cocoons, so you’ll look like a dork in them. To run good, you gotta look good, so I recommend wearing a pair of stiletto heels during the race. If you’re a more casual, fun-loving kinda person, try flip-flops. That beach party vibe will help you out.

2. Try wearing jorts

Barry Switzer is a sellout…

One of the fun things about the Oklahoma budget crisis is that we’ve been able to watch two of our state’s most powerful and wealthy lobbying groups – the wind power and fossil fuel industries – fight like angry football players in the scrum for Oklahoma’s few remaining corporate subsidies and tax breaks.

So far, it looks like fossil fuel is going to come out with the ball. Under the watchful eyes of our Oil and Natural Gas Industry Overlords, Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma legislature have worked hard to eliminate massive subsidies for wind power companies on July 1, while at the same time, making sure that tax breaks for fossil fuel companies increase to $510 million.

To convince simpleton Oklahomans this hypocritical double standard that allows lawmakers to choose winners and losers in business is a good idea, the Overlords have turned to one of their most loyal and trusted servants – disgraced former OU football coach Barry Switzer. The King of the Wishbone, Storage Centers and NCAA Sanctions has appeared in a slew of recent local TV and Social Media spots blowing out hot air about wind energy subsidies.

Here’s a 30-second commercial:

TLO Food Truck Review: El Taco Loco

In a world filled with pain and strife, oh what a beautiful morning it is to wake up and find out there’s a Latino-owned taco truck that has set up shop not too far from where you live. It’s honestly those little victories that make life worth living, isn’t it?

Case in point, I noticed this past Sunday afternoon that there’s an El Taco Loco truck that’s seemingly made itself a home in the Angles parking lot off N.W. 39th and N. Penn. Old-school to the core, there’s nothing fancy about this taco wagon—no wraparound graphics, custom artwork or even a new paint job—this is a working man’s truck, guey and all they need is a clear, concise menu and plenty of hearty homemade comida.

You go to school to learn not for a fashion show.

Adhering strictly to the firm Hispanic belief that you should never pay more than, oh, five or ten dollars for fresh, made-to-order Mexican “street” food—oh Santa Maria, how I loathe that gentrified terminology—the set prices at El Taco Loco are, of course, beautifully low, especially for the utterly high quality eats you get in return.

10 Dark Horse Oklahoma Gubernatorial Candidates

The 2018 Gubernatorial race is starting to pick up steam.

Earlier this month, Lt. Governor Todd Lamb – the white, boring, well-funded choice of the local GOP establishment – filed paperwork indicating he would likely run for Governor. Since then, he’s been barnstorming across the state reminding people he’s not Mary Fallin.

On Thursday, Lamb was joined by State House Minority-leader Scott Inman. He announced he was running for Governor in this 90-second video that goes hard after the cool liberal church demographic:

Wow. Inman’s following the Brad Henry playbook to a T! Nerd glasses? Check. Not mentioning you’re a Democrat in Oklahoma? Check. Wife who comes across as a better candidate than you? Ring Ding Ding! We have a winner!

Others who have announced their candidacy are Gary Richardson and Connie Johnson. Richardson is a goofball attorney who ran for Governor in 2002 as an independent on a free turnpike platform. Johnson is a long-time politician who runs for every office, wants to legalize marijuana and once introduced legislation that would make it a crime for a man to ejacualte in or on anything that’s not a woman’s vagina. I’m not sure we can take either candidate too seriously.

Right now, those are the only mainstream candidates, but I’m sure we’ll get some more names soon (like Drew Edmondson). Some of them may even be a surprise. I’ve talked to some Moles, and here are 10 dark horse candidates for the 2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial race.

1. Bob Mills

Friendly reminder, Bob Mills was one of the first big backers of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and from what I’ve heard, is developing a strong interest in local politics. In some ways, Mills is very similar to our President. They’ve both built successful business, they both pander to the “Working Man,” and they’ve both probably said colorful things about women on hot mics. If he announces a run for Governor, expect it to take place in a hot air balloon somewhere along Reno.

2. Pam Pollard